Facebook ‘spies’ on competitors and consumers

Facebook have been accused of breaking competition law and misleading consumers with data misuse by sharing their data with third parties.

The commons committee have recently brought forward information that Facebook have been using the statistics they collect on Onovo (a Facebook virtual private network app), to view competitors growth.

Facebook does this by monitoring the amount of downloads generated from the application and also how much and how long consumers use the application. This information is then used to decide the future of the company and Facebook will either shut down the company if they pose a threat to them or buy the company and develop it. In 2013 Instagram was subject to this when it was bought by Facebook.

Facebook have also been accused of misusing the data they collected from their consumers in 2014 via a personality quiz they conducted. By sharing the information with third parties such as Lyft, Airbnb and Netflix, which can then be used by the companies to surpass competitors and cheat competition law.

This becomes a huge problem because of the amounts of people who use Facebook in general and not to mention daily which is currently over 2 billion people. Amongst these numbers are many different types of Instagram users, for example the social users, the companies, the schools and etc.

The largest population of people using Facebook are obviously teens, which could be highly beneficial to the brands involved as they are able to manipulate users into buying into products like Netflix and Lyft.